Review Fujitsu LifeBook P3110 Subnotebook
Red and fast.
In the area of all-round devices from Fujitsu, the LifeBook P3110 is currently the smallest model. The subnotebook has an 11.6 inch screen with LED backlight. The subnotebook differs from Netbooks by the Intel Pentium Dual-core CPU and GMA 4500M HD graphic card. Nevertheless, simple office applications stay the main field of the P3110.
If you are looking for a mobile device that offers a good performance at the same time, you do not have much choice. Netbooks offer extended battery life, but not really much power. Ordinary laptops deliver the missing power, but only partial mobility because the battery life is usually not sufficient enough. The Lifebook P3110 with 11.6 inch screen offers a decent performance and a good battery life as it is equipped with an Intel Pentium ULV U4100 processor with 1.30 GHz and Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics.
In addition it comes with a huge 320 GB hard drive from Western Digital, 4 GB DDR2-6400 RAM memory from Samsung and WLAN 802.11n. So, it is capable of smooth HD video rendering. The configuration of our test model costs around 689 euro (MRSP). The basic model of the Fujitsu P3110 is available for 569 Euro (MRSP), but, this version offers less RAM and a weaker processor.
The Fujitsu P3110 is available in three colours. In addition to black and white, you can get the subnotebook also in a gaudy ruby colour. Finish and workmanship are well done and we could not find any flaws. However the red high-gloss surface of our test unit is attracting fingerprints, scratches and unsightly dust particles. A visual highlight is the chrome strip, which surrounds the display cover on its edge. Overall, it is a fancy and elegant design.
The case provides a good stability. You can quite strongly press with your finger against it, and it only slightly gives. The plastic used for the case makes a good impression, because it's neatly finished. The display hinges are relatively slim, but offer a good stability. The screen can be easily and precisely adjusted into the desired position. The maximum opening angle is close to 160 degrees.
Our test device, the red P3110 subnotebook, with inserted 6-cell battery at a size of 28.5 x 20.9 x 2.64 - 3.02 centimetres (W x D x H) weighs 1.63 kilograms. For an 11.6 -inch-subnotebook that's a good but unremarkable value. The included AC adapter is made relatively small and weighs 330 grams. Power supplies of comparable Netbooks weigh approximately 130 grams less.
Equipment and Configuration
Fujitsu offers connectivity typical for small 11.6 inch subnotebooks.
On the left side there are a USB-2.0 port and an analogue VGA-out, which you can connect an external screen or a modern TV to. The DC-in is also on the left side. No further connections are available here, because the rest is occupied by the big louver.
Opposite, on the right side, there are two more USB-2.0 ports, the audio jacks (headphones, microphone), a Kensington lock slot, a RJ-45 LAN interface which support gigabit connections, and a 4-in-1 card reader, which supports SD (SDHC), MS, MS Pro und MMC.
Front and rear have no connections. Under the front, Fujitsu has included two small stereo speakers and a hardware switch for the used communication technologies. This switch allows to activate and deactivate the built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module. The back is occupied by the large 6-cell battery with 54 Wh.
The range of connectivity options is fine, even if no special features were included. The 4-in-1 card reader is a pro. An HDMI output for the transmission of high definition video material is not installed, even though the built-in hardware would allow a smooth playback. ExpressCard slot and internal optical drive cannot are missing, because of the laptop's small size. So, you'll need an external USB drive, which costs around 60 euros, if you want to use CDs and DVDs.
In addition to the gigabit-capable network adapter from Realtek a wireless module from Atheros (AR9285) with Wi-Fi 802.11n support is integrated. Together with the built-in Bluetooth 2.1+EDR almost all expectations in this area are satisfied. A model with integrated UMTS modem is not available yet, and so you have to fall back on a USB solution.
As an operating system for our review laptop, Fujitsu uses Windows 7 Home Premium in the 32-bit variant. Although the operating system can completely address the built-in 4 GB of RAM, just about up to 3.2 gigabytes can be used. In addition to the operating system the Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Office Ready (60 days trial version, Home and Student), CyberLink YouCam and Symantec Norton Internet Security (90 days trial version) are pre-installed. So, not too many software is pre-installed and the loading times should not suffer too much. Nevertheless, you should uninstall the programs you don’t use to obtain a better system performance.
Scope of Delivery and Supplies
The scope includes only the bare essentials. There are no extras included. In the packaging next to the subnotebook, a suitable AC adapter with power cable can be found, a driver and software DVD, the Quick Start Guide and various manuals for the proper use of equipment and software. The optional accessories include storage media, bags, keyboards, mice, multimedia equipment, network, power adapters, port replicators and security accessories.
The keyboard leaves a good first impression. Key travel and feedback are convenient. The keys have a size of 16 x 16 millimetres and the gap between them is adequate. Although the keys are smaller than those of desktops, touch typing is a pleasure right from the start. Even more the keyboard uses a standard layout and has a large right shift key.
Not surprisingly, there was not enough space left for a separate number pad. Instead of a different colour, some of the Fn functions have a frame around there name.
The built-in touchpad with a diagonal of just 6.7 centimetres turns out to be relatively small and narrow. Thanks to the slightly matte surface, you can navigate easily and accurately. Vertical and horizontal scroll area are not marked. Unfortunately, multi-touch gestures are not supported. The mouse buttons are located directly in front of it. They are below a synthetic chrome bar and separated by a small notch. Overall, the buttons provide good tactile feedback and are not too loud in use.
The display is 11.6 inch big and has a (Panel: LP116WH1-TLA1) LED backlight. The glare-type screen offers a maximum native resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Because of the glossy surface, you'll face reflections outdoors and at adverse lightening conditions. The content gets quickly unrecognizable and makes working hard.
You can connect an external monitor or TV to the built-in analog video output (VGA). But you might miss HDMI, which would offer a better image quality and high resolutions.
The display leaves a good impression. Its advantages are a very good illumination of 90 percent and a good brightness. We were able to measure a maximum of 197 cd/m² in the lower part, and an average of 185.6 cd/m². The contrast of 146:1 is comparatively low, because of a high black value of 1.33. Therefore black also looks more like gray. Overall, the colour representation is good and the picture is sufficiently sharp.
With the small 1.4 MP webcam in the upper display frame, the Lifebook P3110 is also ready for video conferencing and team meetings. It's picture quality is good. Sound can be recorded by the microphone next to it.
The viewing angles of the built-in panel is average. Horizontally the contents keeps readable and the colours change only a little bit, even at very acute angles. In vertical direction also small deviations will result in colour changes.
The Intel Pentium U4100 ULV processor has a clock speed of 1.30 GHz. Together with the integrated graphics chip, an Intel GMA 4500MHD, it performs significantly better than netbooks based on Pine Trail. They even allow smooth HD-video rendering without an extra HD decoder. Something an Atom netbook would require for this task. But, the P3110 costs about 290 euro more than netbooks.
Not only processor and graphics chip do a good job in the inside. A 320 GByte SATA hard disk drive from Western Digital (WD3200BEVS-16VAT) is used as mass storage device and 4 GB of DDR2-6400 RAM from Samsung are built in. Unfortunately the 32-bit OS can not utilize the later efficiently. A 64-bit version would further increase the performance.
To verify and compare the performance of the built-in hardware, we have tested the Lifebook P3110 with various benchmarks. All the tests were run in the high performance profile of Windows 7, with the default clock frequency of 1.30 GHz.
First, we were testing in the scope of application benchmarks. In CineBench R10 the Intel Pentium U4100 achieved a maximum of 1413 points in single-core and 2676 points in the multi-core rendering. An Intel Atom N450 reaches about 600 point in the single-core test and the slightly faster Intel Pentium SU2700 ULV about 1,350 points. So, this system is about 43% more powerful than laptops with Intel Atom N450. In the PCMark Vantage 2653 points were achieved. Also here, we observe a significant increase in computing power.
|PCMark Vantage Result||2653 points|
The P3110 is not designed for games. But, if you really want, you can try some at low graphics settings. Nevertheless, load times and frame rates will stay rather low. This is also proved by the synthetic 3D benchmarks. In the 3DMark 2006 the Lifebook achieved just 525 points (CPU: 1183 points). Running a more recent version of the 3DMark series can result in crashes or very low scores, just because the hardware is no longer suitable for this purpose.
In case you'd like more power, you should have a look at current devices with the new Nvidia 300-series graphics chips or HD 5xxx series from ATI. An interesting device would be the new Alienware M11x subnotebook with 11.6 inch screen and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GT 335M graphics. This device costs around 950 euro, and offers more power and a decent gaming capability.
The results of SuperPi, wPrime and SiSoftware Sandra remain within the limits for this configuration. The 1M calculation of SuperPi required 39 seconds (32M: 2073 seconds) and a similar calculation of 32M by wPrime was completed after 63 seconds. The Intel Pentium U4100 processor reaches 12127 MIPS and 9566 MFLOPS in SiSoftware Sandra benchmark. In the current version of SiSoftware Sandra our test system reached 10.1 GOPS and 10.66 GIPS.
|3DMark 2001SE Standard||4179 points|
|3DMark 03 Standard||1533 points|
|3DMark 05 Standard||1035 points|
|3DMark 06 Standard||525 points|
The built-in Western Digital hard drive, model WD3200BEVS-16VAT works at 5400 rotations per minute and offers 320 GB disk space. The values of the disk are average. The maximum transmission rate is 68.4 megabytes per second. The access time of 17.2 milliseconds and the data throughput rate of 68.3 MB per second are also mid-range. Overall, the drive offers sufficient power for its typical use.
Finally we looked at the latencies under Windows 7. These can be tested and read using the tool "DPC Latency Checker". If the values in this test are above the threshold of 1000μs, problems with peripheral devices may occur, e.g., sound crackling of external sound cards. During our test, the latencies sometimes exceeded this level. The maximum value was even higher than 10000μs. With such high values problems with peripheral devices are likely.
As always, we have measured the development of noise from a distance of 15 centimetres. The small fan emits a constant 30.2 dB(A) with usual work load and is hardly noticeable. The hard drive from Western Digital stays is, with a maximum of 31.6 dB(A) also unremarkable. Under load the values increase to 32.4 - 40.7 dB(A) and the device is clearly audible. Unfortunately, the fan creates a very high, unpleasant and disruptive noise under full load.
30.2 / 30.2 / 30.2 dB(A)
||32.4 / 40.7 dB(A)|
min: , med: , max: (15 cm distance)
We measured the heat development of the case at a room temperature between 18.1 and 19.0 degrees Celsius. Under typical load we recorded a maximum of 33.3 degrees Celsius on the bottom side of the laptop. The wrist-rest area stays with a maximum of 28.6 degrees Celsius in the green field.
Under load the temperatures rise significantly. On the bottom side we measure a maximum of 8.1 degrees Celsius. This might already be unpleasant if you work with the laptop on your thighs. The wrist-rest reaches 31.1 degrees Celsius, which is slightly warm and no reason for criticism.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 34.2 °C / 94 F, compared to the average of 35.8 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22 to 57 °C for the class Subnotebook.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 48.1 °C / 119 F, compared to the average of 40.1 °C / 104 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.3 °C / 79 F, compared to the device average of 30.7 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 31.1 °C / 88 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.6 °C / 83.5 F (-2.5 °C / -4.5 F).
Fujitsu has installed two small stereo speakers underneath the front which cannot convince. Basses are not available and the high tones are a bit too present. Therefore they are not suitable for playback of music, but, sufficient for conversations via Skype. For a better sound quality, we recommend connecting external speakers or good headphones to the 3.5 millimetre jack.
To check the battery life, we have used the "Battery Eater” tool and run three different tests. It is questionable whether the Lifebook P3110 from Fujitsu can keep up with current netbooks.
First, we determined the minimum battery life under load. We activated the Wi-Fi modules, the high performance profile of Windows 7 and the maximum screen brightness. The Battery Eater Classic test simulates an Open GL calculation that runs until the device shuts down automatically. After 2 hours and 33 minutes the battery was only 5 percent of charge and the device turned off automatically.
In contrast, the Readers Test of the Battery Eater tool records maximum possible battery life.We turned off the wireless modules, minimized the screen brightness, and turned on all the power saving mechanisms. After 8 hours and 59 minutes the 6-cell battery was empty and the device had to be plugged to a power socket.
If you want to surf internet only via WLAN, you will reach a period of around 6 hours and 17minutes. Overall, the battery life is convincing, but the P3110 cannot compete with current netbooks since the power consumption of the built-in hardware is too high.
During normal usage, the Lifebook energy consumption is between 7.0 and 12.9 watts. Under load the power demand rises up to 29.3 watts, whereas charging requires around 22.9 watts. In the standby mode, a constant of 0.8 watts are required. Overall, the values are unremarkable and average for this hardware configuration.
|Off / Standby||0 / 0.8 Watt|
|Idle|| 7 / 5.5 / 12.9 Watt|
19.8 / 29.3 Watt|
Key: min: , med: , max:
The reviewed Fujitsu Lifebook P3110 Subnotebook convinced for the most part, but, you should be aware that this device has some weaknesses.
The stylish design in flashy ruby red can convince also in terms of workmanship, finish, and stability. The hardware configuration is average for a 689 euro device,but, we miss an HDMI output port. It convinces with a good applications and useful multimedia performance, e.g., smooth HD videos. The good battery life of just a little less than 9 hours allows mobile use, but, the laptop cannot keep up with a current Intel Atom netbook.
The 11.6 –inch screen offers a good illumination and high brightness, but the black level and, as a result, the contrast are not so good. Even more so, as the screen has a glare-type surface. A model with matte screen is currently unavailable. The keyboard is sufficiently big and because of the inter-key gaps and and the large shift key also suitable for frequent typists. A slightly larger touchpad would be desirable.
To summarize, the Lifebook P3110 from Fujitsu is a stylish 11.6 inch subnotebook with some strengths and weaknesses. If you can live with the mentioned limitations, it's not a bad choice. Those who require a certain performance on-the move can consider it. The test device with top configuration costs about 689 euro (MRSP). The entry-level model is about 120 euro cheaper, but also offers less power.